Coming close on the heels of cyclone Phailin, incessant rain over the coastal districts of Odisha has created flood situation in many regions of the State.
Many stretches in the districts of Ganjam and Gajapati districts were already experiencing floods on Thursday, and flood situation was staring at many areas in adjoining Kandhamal districts.
As lakhs of people who had been affected by Phailin and consequent floods continued to suffer with the rains adding to their misery, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik directed the concerned departments to take necessary measures to cope with the emerging flood situation.
The Chief Minister, who reviewed the flood situation at a high level meeting at the State Secreariat here, also direct the administration to ask people living in low lying areas to shift to safer places.
Mr. Patnaik further asked National Disaster Rapid Action Force and Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force and stay alert to cope with any eventuality.
The Chief Minister was informed at the meeting that as many as 46 gram panchayats in Ganjam were facing the wrath of flood due to continuous rain triggered by a low pressure over the Bay of Bengal.
Head of the Bhubaneswar Metrological Department S.C. Sahu informed the meeting that rains were likely to continue over the next 48 hours.
The relief and restoration works, which was going on in the cyclone-hit areas of Ganjam and other districts as well as in the flood-hit areas of Balasore and Mayurbhanj districts in northern Odisha, had been affected due to the rains.
Another report indicated that a fishing trawler sank in the sea off Balasore coast, but the fishermen had been rescued.
On the other hand, several trains between Bhubaneswar and Visakhapatnam had been cancelled since Wednesday night with water flowing over the tracks between Ichhapuram and Jharpudi in neighbouring Andhra Pradesh. Ichhapuram incidentally is the northern-most railway station in Andhra Pradesh.
Special patrolling teams had been deployed at all sensitive locations between Berhampur to Palasa, and special watch was being maintained at all railway bridges, said J.P. Mishra, Chief Public Relations Officer of East Coast Railway (ECoR).
For long distance trains, ECoR had diverted a total of 29 trains on two alternative routes to south India, Mr. Mishra added.
Meanwhile, uncertainty prevailed over the One Day International cricket match between India and Australia scheduled to be played on Saturday at Barabati stadium.
Even as both the teams were to arrive in Bhubaneswar late on Thursday afternoon, the outfields of the stadium in nearby Cuttack had been inundated by rainwaters.